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  1. #1
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    Default Home observatory advice needed

    Hi

    I am planning some alterations to our house and I am considering incorporating a small observatory while at it. I am in need of some advice please in terms of how to put the observatory together. I have some ideas but ideally want to talk to someone who has done this before. Pls DM me if you are willing to part with some advice

    much appreciated

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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    Hi

    I am planning some alterations to our house and I am considering incorporating a small observatory while at it. I am in need of some advice please in terms of how to put the observatory together. I have some ideas but ideally want to talk to someone who has done this before. Pls DM me if you are willing to part with some advice

    much appreciated
    Boesman, Pretoria has massive light pollution. This will mask most of the stars and galaxies except for the exceptionally bright. What do you plan to observe? The moon will be OK but you're going to be severely restricted regarding the rest.

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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    You are right, we dont quite have Sutherland conditions. Unfortunately nothing much I can do about that.

    the interest is really just basic star gazing: planets, constellations and perhaps the odd deep space object etc. I figure if I can spot some planets and the Orion nebula with the naked eye, it surely would look quite nice using a 12 Dobsonion even from pretoria

    i have some space to potentially factor in a retractable roof (partly) to serve as observatory. Hence the reach out for some advice. Nothing over the top, just a basic setup


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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    OK. Just a bit of advice. You may want to have a method of finding the object of interest in the night sky at a particular time of the day and year from your particular position. Then also to automatically track the object to negate the revolving Earth causing you to move all the time. I was once engrossed sitting in a chair tracking a celestial object with a telescope and needed to move my seat periodically. I forgot about the swimming pool behind me and landed in it with the chair and telescope.

    I can see you have an interest that you're going to develop further. Enjoy the engrossing hobby.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Not much use of having a observatory in Borte 7/8 sky for visual , for AP it does help in that you dont have to move the equipment around , but one does not need a massive telescope for home AP , a good camera with a 100mm apo and a decent eq mount with tracking will get you started , around R80k without the cost of the observatory , but then it also depends on what you want to image , planets need high power so a SCT is better. DSO need more time with a fast lens like a F5 appo . You also need a good computer to process the data and lots of experience , good luck .Your scope a 10 inch dobs is great but unfortunately no good for AP . I would just make a base with locking wheels so its easier to move your scope around on paving etc
    Last edited by 12richardk; 2021/01/02 at 06:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    OK. Just a bit of advice. You may want to have a method of finding the object of interest in the night sky at a particular time of the day and year from your particular position. Then also to automatically track the object to negate the revolving Earth causing you to move all the time. I was once engrossed sitting in a chair tracking a celestial object with a telescope and needed to move my seat periodically. I forgot about the swimming pool behind me and landed in it with the chair and telescope.

    I can see you have an interest that you're going to develop further. Enjoy the engrossing hobby.
    thanks - this is useful. Although we have a lot of light pollution, the purpose of the observatory is really just to avoid having to wheel the scope into the driveway every so often. Being higher also gives me better visibility of the sky (buildings and trees)

    Perhaps some more pointed questions:

    1. Is it advisable to always anchor the telescope pier into the ground or would it be appropriate to mount it onto the concrete floor of a second or third story?

    2. how much space would be required around the scope to cater for following moving objects (refer chair and pool example)? Would a radius of 1.2m from the pier be sufficient given a 12” Dobsonian scope?

    3. assuming I have to manually track the moving objects and in the process move the location of the chair I sit in, is it best to simply use a wheeled office type chair and roll along? (Dumb question I know, but what is the standard practice?)

    4. I have the option to simply have a square retractable roof at fairly minimal cost. Also have the option to utilise space on a 3rd level for a more traditional observatory dome structure the opens up and rotate. Given the high Bortle level - probably not worth the investment for the dome structure. But I assume if you go the rotating dome route that one can use a signal from your automated telescope to provide your dome actuators with input for when and by how much to move? Dont think the dome structure is useful if not automated as you’ll constantly have to manually manouvre it to stay out of your field of view right?
    Last edited by Boesman88; 2021/01/03 at 09:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    I'm a complete amateur regarding equipment but have a good knowledge of the universe. Trichardt seems to be far more equipment orientated than I am. I just related experiences I would negate if I built an observatory.

    Enjoy.

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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    Hi

    I am planning some alterations to our house and I am considering incorporating a small observatory while at it. I am in need of some advice please in terms of how to put the observatory together. I have some ideas but ideally want to talk to someone who has done this before. Pls DM me if you are willing to part with some advice

    much appreciated
    Hi Boesman,

    Did you ever build your ROR observatory? I am a partner in a private observatory in between Touwsrivier and Montague (look for Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory on FB). We are nearly done with our first ROR and I am planning my own ROR now.

    Maybe i can help you .
    Marius Reitz
    Nissan Xtrail
    Astronomy and Telescopes

    • 13.1 inch custom built truss telescope on a dobsonian mount
    • 10 inch Meade SCT on a CGEM mount
    • 8 inch Celestron SCT Powerstar
    • 8 inch Skywatcher reflector on a Celestron CGEM mount
    • 12 inch Orion SkyQuest
    • 5 inch Alter Maksutov Cassegrain on a EQ4 mount
    • 15x70 Celestron Skymaster binoculars on a parallelogram mount

    Come visit us at Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4WD View Post
    Hi Boesman,

    Did you ever build your ROR observatory? I am a partner in a private observatory in between Touwsrivier and Montague (look for Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory on FB). We are nearly done with our first ROR and I am planning my own ROR now.

    Maybe i can help you .
    Hi Marius,

    I received my approved building plans back from the authorities only last week and have made provision for a basic observatory space. Will end up being far less glamorous than originally intended given what I know now re light quality in Pretoria (remember I'm a newby) :-)

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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    Hi Marius,

    I received my approved building plans back from the authorities only last week and have made provision for a basic observatory space. Will end up being far less glamorous than originally intended given what I know now re light quality in Pretoria (remember I'm a newby) :-)
    Let me know if I can help or get a friend out your way to help. I am the chair for ASSA Cape Town and can get someone out your way to help your as we centres out your way.
    Marius Reitz
    Nissan Xtrail
    Astronomy and Telescopes

    • 13.1 inch custom built truss telescope on a dobsonian mount
    • 10 inch Meade SCT on a CGEM mount
    • 8 inch Celestron SCT Powerstar
    • 8 inch Skywatcher reflector on a Celestron CGEM mount
    • 12 inch Orion SkyQuest
    • 5 inch Alter Maksutov Cassegrain on a EQ4 mount
    • 15x70 Celestron Skymaster binoculars on a parallelogram mount

    Come visit us at Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4WD View Post
    Let me know if I can help or get a friend out your way to help. I am the chair for ASSA Cape Town and can get someone out your way to help your as we centres out your way.

    thanks very kind - as soon as we get going with our renovation, I'll reach out.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Good luck I hope that it works out ok for you , but still not sure how a 12 inch Dobsonian telescope will work in an observatory , if you build a pier to mount it then you will need a ladder to look!
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Home observatory advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 12richardk View Post
    Good luck I hope that it works out ok for you , but still not sure how a 12 inch Dobsonian telescope will work in an observatory , if you build a pier to mount it then you will need a ladder to look!
    An EQ platform for his dob and good light pollution filters will definitely help. I can understand his need for a place to store his scope and have immediate access to it. I also have 12 inch dob and foresee no issue with it. Your size must pref be at least 4x4 meters with lower side walls in your main viewing direction ( hopefully south ;-) ).
    Marius Reitz
    Nissan Xtrail
    Astronomy and Telescopes

    • 13.1 inch custom built truss telescope on a dobsonian mount
    • 10 inch Meade SCT on a CGEM mount
    • 8 inch Celestron SCT Powerstar
    • 8 inch Skywatcher reflector on a Celestron CGEM mount
    • 12 inch Orion SkyQuest
    • 5 inch Alter Maksutov Cassegrain on a EQ4 mount
    • 15x70 Celestron Skymaster binoculars on a parallelogram mount

    Come visit us at Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory

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